Signs Medical Marijuana is Taming the Opioid Epidemic

Photo Credit: Frankieleon/Flickr (http://bit.ly/2oDo1xx)

Photo Credit: Frankieleon/Flickr (http://bit.ly/2oDo1xx)

In states where medical marijuana has legalized, data has shown that patients prefer use of the new medication to the use of traditional opioids. Surveys have shown patients prefer medical marijuana for its effective analgesic properties and safety profile, and data has shown that prescriptions from Medicare Part D in legalized states have declined. Now, there is one more piece of evidence that suggests patients may be substituting medical marijuana for opioids. According to researchers from Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health who have analyzed federal data involving motor vehicle accidents, fewer drivers who died as a result of fatal automobile accidents tested positive for opioids in states where medical marijuana was legal. 

The study was published in the American Journal of Public Health, with researchers concluding that the analysis provided proof that patients reduced their use of opioids in states where medical marijuana laws were implemented. Lead study author June H. Kim said of the study, "We would expect the adverse consequences of opioid use to decrease over time in states where medical marijuana use is legal, as individuals substitute marijuana for opioids in the treatment of severe or chronic pain." 

This information has been provided by High Times Magazine and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.